Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
Semantics of nouns and nominal number
- In the present paper, I will discuss the semantic structure of nouns and nominal number markers. In particular, I will discuss the question if it is possible to account for the syntactic and semantic formation of nominals in a parallel way, that is I will try to give a compositional account of nominal semantics. The framework that I will use is "twolevel semantics". The semantic representations and their type-theoretical basis will account for general cross-linguistic characteristics of nouns and nominal number and will show interdependencies between noun classes, number marking and cardinal constructions. While the analysis will give a unified account of bare nouns (like dog / water), it will distinguish between the different kinds of nominal terms (like a dog / dogs / water). Following the proposal, the semantic operations underlying the formation of the SR are basically the same for DPs as for CPs. Hence, from such an analysis, independent semantic arguments can be derived for a structural parallelism of nominals and sentences - that is, for the "sentential aspect" of noun phrases. I will first give a sketch of the theoretical background. I will then discuss the cross-linguistic combinatorial potential of nominal constructions, that is, the potential of nouns and number markers to combine with other elements and form complex expressions. This will lead to a general type-theoretical classification for the elements in question. In the next step, I will model the referential potential of nominal constructions. Together with the combinatorial potential, this will give us semantic representations for the basic elements involved in nominal constructions. In an overview, I will summarize our modeling of nouns and nominal number. I will then discuss in an outlook the "sentential aspect" of noun phrases.